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National debate rages over windfarms

Barrhead and Uplawmoor residents have become part of a national debate over how planning applications for wind turbines are handled.

It was reported in last month’s Barrhead News that campaigners in Gateside had been shocked to find a planning application for a 100 foot tall wind turbine behind their homes by accident, as East Renfrewshire Council or the applicant are not legally obliged to inform residents.

A hasty opposition group was put together with 25 residents from the street gathering to voice their incredulity at the application, and put together a case opposing the plans.

Now Uplawmoor resident and long-time anti-turbine campaigner Aileen Jackson has voiced her support of the Gateside campaign, and highlighted their plight as a national issue.

She said: “Unfortunately, at the moment, the local authority is under no obligation to notify residents of a proposal which is more than 20m from their boundary; hence the reason there is a public petition being considered by the Scottish Government to extend the distance for neighbour notification for wind turbine applications.

“Fortunately these residents discovered the application in time to make their objections known.”

Uplawmoor residents fought against the construction of the Neilston Community Windfarm and other proposals in the area for years, stating that the rural authenticity of the village would be ruined by the construction of the massive turbines.

Aileen continued: “Uplawmoor and Neilston residents have been fighting wind turbine developments in the area for many years, waiting for the day when our friends in Barrhead would realise that our cherished landscape was being trashed and our wildlife killed or displaced by industrial power plants encouraged by subsidies paid for by the consumer via their energy bills – resulting in vast amounts of money haemorrhaging from the poor to the rich on a scale our country has never seen before.

“The best technical minds in the country continue to give clear and unambiguous advice on the unpardonable folly of wind technology and our leaders choose to take no notice.”

Windfarms have been linked to medical conditions in a number of research journals, and some residents are concerned over the effects of low frequency noise produced by the spinning turbines.

One of the most recent medical journals that led investigations into the ill-health effects of turbine, Australian campaign group The Waubra Foundation, links chronic sleep deprivation, hypertension, heart attacks and high blood pressure to the low frequency noise produced by turbines.

Douglas Junner, 46, who is fronting the Gateside Road campaign against the erection of the wind turbine on the braes behind his home, said: “Our biggest concern is the low frequency noise and the ill health effects, and if there are other people out there who have fought against the wind farms and they can help us too then we are happy to get in touch with them.

“We don’t agree with how this has been handled and how they can possibly not have to inform people that a wind turbine is going to be built behind their homes.”